Security tips to protect homes from a break-in

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    GOVERNMENT hope new regulations will reduce decrease break-ins.

    With break-ins still a huge concern for home owners across the UK Approved Document Q, a new addition to the buildings regulations, has been implemented.

    The introduction of security standards for doors and windows is great news for buyers of new-builds but it also highlights the need for stronger security in homes throughout the UK.

    According to Approved Document Q, all doors and windows must be made to a design which has passed security testing, including a cylinder and hardware attack test, and all must comply with British and European security standards.

    While new-build buyers can be safe in the knowledge that their homes meet these requirements, it’s also vital that current homeowners take action to bring their existing properties up to a similar standard of security.

    A Master Locksmiths Association approved locksmith can provide a survey for owners of existing homes to ensure current standards are met.

    Here, Dr Steffan George, development director of The Master Locksmiths Association, the leading trade association for the locksmithing profession, provides guidance on ensuring your home will deter thieves and remain as secure as possible.

    Even before thinking about the entry points of your home, there are exterior elements you may not have considered, yet some simple alterations to the outside of your home can make it far less appealing to a thief.

    Try to view your property as a thief might.

    The exterior is the first aspect they will consider when choosing a property to attack.

    Ensure there are no easy hiding spots, such as oversized bushes and trees, check fences and gates are in good condition – strong and unbreakable – as they could, and should, put a would-be-thief off.

    Other exterior deterrents which should decrease break-ins include a working alarm system with a visible alarm box to the exterior, outdoor lighting and a visible CCTV camera.

    What thieves can see through windows is also important having valuables, such as a laptop, left in sight. This is a another common cause for break-ins.

    Whilst ensuring you Leave a light on a timer (in particular upstairs), and perhaps a radio to give the thief the impression you are home.

    Finally, the entry points must be as fool-proof as possible.

    Ensure all your windows, especially those which are easily accessible or on the ground floor, have secure locks.

    Something many forget, but which is equally as important, is to check the condition of the windows and doors themselves.

    Weak fences or a worn-out door or lock could be tell-tale signs that your house is falling short in the security-stakes.

    If the lock is old or the door frame is cracked, it may be much easier for a thief to gain access.

    If the worst does happen, consider what the thief will be faced with once inside your property. While an alarm is a great deterrent, a professionally specified and installed safe is an excellent way of optimising the security of valuables within a property.

    If you have any doubts a local qualified locksmith, such as a Master Locksmith Association member, will be able to advise on which locks will be the most suitable, and ensure that they’ll meet insurance requirements.

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